Cultural Extravaganza, in a Cube!

Published in SIN News, 1st October 2012

Galway Culture Night hit the Cube Theatre, Áras na Mac Léinn on Friday, 21 September, in an intimate taster of the talent our performing societies will be showcasing this coming year. Presented by JD Kiely, the evening was a fitting demonstration of the great cultural diversity that Societies bring both to campus and to Galway city as a whole.

The show opened with some instrumental pieces by a four-piece group from Trad Soc. There was a tangible spark between the musicians. With a guitar, tin whistle, bodhran and fiddle, the sound was rounded and energetic.

In leap away from the traditional Irish session that preceded it, an off-the-cuff sketch for Comedy Soc by our very own Societies Chairperson Robin Allen gave a nod to the well-known Febreze ads of our television culture. It had the audience reaching for some air freshener of their own.

Four singers from Choral Soc gave a beautiful sample of the kind music we can expect to hear from them soon. Choral Soc are celebrating 145 years at NUI Galway. They were conducted on the evening by Lily McGarry, winner of the Best Individual category at this year’s BICS National Societies Awards.

Dave Owens and Dara Finneran’s routine for Juggling Soc was a definite highlight of the night. It was clear that such an exact display required a great deal of practice and time. The double-act covered the few mistakes that they did make with style and humour.

The crowd were also treated to a surprise performance by Eithne O Dowd, a “recently published local poet and singer” who is proving very difficult to trace, and looks suspiciously like Societies Officer, Riona Hughes.

The night would have been lost without appearances by DramSoc and GUMS. Both delivered without a catch. Aine Cahalan, Eilis Mc Carthy and Drew Dunlop of DramSoc executed passionate readings from plays including Shakespeare’s Richard II and Two for a Girl by Mary Kelly and Noni Stapleton. Katie and Megan Connolly from GUMS sang a soulful rendition of Tyler Hilton’s hit ‘I Believe in You’. The show was closed with another GUMS act by Dee Ní Chloscaí, whose lively interpretation of ‘Taylor the Latte Boy’ was met by enthusiasm from the crowd.

Culture Night is a nationwide initiative over-seen by Temple Bar Cultural Trust and supported by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. It was brought to Galway in this, its debut year, in partnership with Galway City Council. Culture Night aims to exhibit Galway’s rich cultural fabric and its cultural institutions, ultimately making the Arts accessible to everyone – enthusiasts and novices alike.

With performances ranging from choral singing to comedy, from juggling to the performing arts, this first Societies Showcase was an apt summation of the objectives of Galway Culture Night, as well as a quality display of the wealth of cultural opportunities and events our university has to offer. It will be exciting to see what more our societies have in store this year.


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